Caribbean Stud Poker: How to Play, Rules & Strategies

Caribbean Stud poker has become a staple of casinos, both online and brick and mortar. Although its origins are unclear, it is now a game you can find in most online casinos. In our guide, you’ll find out what Caribbean Stud poker is, and how and where you can play. We present which strategies works best and where you can practice your skills for free.

If you want to dive straight into the action, these top casinos offer the game and some great bonuses to start with.

Best Online Casinos to Play Caribbean Stud Poker

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Best Places to Play Real Money Caribbean Stud Poker

Are top picks for Caribbean Stud poker offer bonuses up to $3,000, multiple types of poker game, and free play mode. Whatever your Caribbean Stud needs, you’ll find it below.


Bovada Casino Logo

If you’re on the hunt for an online casino that pulls out all the stops, look no further than Bovada. Founded in 2011 as a sportsbook, it now holds a place as one of the leading lights in the online casino industry.

Players have over 300 games to choose from, including Caribbean Hold’em and Caribbean Stud poker. Players can demo all these games for free without the need to create an account.

Bovada offers new players a 100% match up to $1,000 on their first three deposits.

Without a doubt, there’s plenty to like and to keep you coming back at Bovada.


  • Over 300 games, including Caribbean Stud and Carribean Hold’em
  • Free play available
  • 100% match up to $1,000 on first three deposits
  • Sportsbook available


  • License info not readily available
  • Not the biggest selection of table games


Ignition casino logo

Ignition casino is another excellent destination for poker fans.

Players have over 300 games to choose from. Of those, 25 are table games, which isn’t the biggest selection but the essentials are there, such as Caribbean Stud and Caribbean Hold’em.

Ignition also features one of the best online poker lobbies in the business, with fantastic tournaments. Sign up now and you can enter the Black Diamond Open, in which an amazing $12 million is up for grabs.

As always, new players can get a 100% match up to $1,000 on their first three deposits.

If you’re looking for poker, look no further than Ignition.


  • 300 games, including Caribbean Stud and Caribbean Hold’em
  • 100% welcome bonus up to $3,000
  • Online poker lobby with tournaments


  • No free play
  • No phone customer support

How We Rank Real Money Casinos

Our mission is to bring our readers the best selection of online casinos in the US. To ensure that we are only recommending the very best, we apply strict metrics that the casinos must score well in. Here are the six factors we consider crucial.

Safety & Security

In the digital age, the safety and security of your financial and personal information are of the utmost importance. If an online casino cannot keep your data safe, we ain’t playing there.

Safe online casinos have the following:

  • SSL encryption to keep threats at bay.
  • A privacy policy that limits data sharing to what’s essential.
  • A license from a reputable gambling authority.

If we see all this, a casino may make our list.

Game Variety & Quality

All the best online casinos keep us coming back for more. They do this by offering a wide selection of quality games. The more, the merrier.

For poker, that means we like to see Caribbean Stud as well as other well-known varieties, like Texas Hold’em, Three-Card, and Let ’em Ride. A host of classic table games and features like a live-dealer lobby are always a plus, too.

To make our lists, casinos need to offer lots of amazing games.

Bonuses & Promotions

With so much competition on the market, online casinos need to be generous to their customers in order to retain them. And that means they need to offer big bonuses that are often offered and easily redeemable and can be redeemed on Caribbean Stud.

We like to see a variety of offers, like welcome bonuses, no-deposit bonuses, and reload bonuses to name a few. Bonuses can be particularly useful for games like Caribbean Stud, as they allow you to increase your bankroll and your winnings.

Payment Options

In any casino, we need to be able to get our money in and out the casino, quickly, easily, and cheaply. If we cannot do this, we cannot recommend the casino.

We need to see a host of traditional banking methods — like credit cards and bank transfers — alongside the modern methods such as cryptocurrencies. In addition, we appreciate fast transactions and low fees. If we get all this, we can recommend the casino to our readers.

Customer Support

The best online casinos, like all the best businesses, make looking after their customers a priority and offer fantastic customer service. When you have issues — like checking how much the casino pays out on the Caribbean Stud progressive jackpot — it’s no trouble to get in contact with staff who are quick to respond with the information you need.

For online casinos, that means we need a range of customer support options; like live chat, telephone, and e-mail. The greater amount of time these are available and the quicker the responses, the better.

We also like self-help guides and FAQs that allow us to find the information that we need as and when we need it. The more supported we feel, the more likely we are to recommend the casino.

UI & Mobile Experience

In 2024, online casinos need to optimize their sites for smaller screens.

We’ll want to see a sleek user interface that is visually appealing and laid out in a way that makes it easy for mobile players to interact and play on the site.

If it looks good and is easy to use, we’ll be happy.

What Is Caribbean Stud Poker?

Caribbean Stud Poker is a version of five-card stud poker with the unusual twist that the players play against the dealer rather than against each other. Though its origins are not well known, professional poker player David Slansky claims that he created it and that it was then taken to Excelsior Casino in Aruba, hence the name. You can find it in many brick-and-mortar casinos and also online.

It is a simple version of poker, which makes it easy to play, and was one of the first varieties of poker to feature a progressive jackpot, which continues to grow until some wins it; like a lottery.

Like other versions of poker, the best hand wins, and the player’s main decision is whether or not to play or fold with the hand they’ve been dealt.

Caribbean Stud Poker vs. Standard Poker

Let’s take a look at some of the key differences between Caribbean Stud and Texas Hold’em.

Standard Poker

  • Played against other players

  • Player’s skill influences outcome

  • No house edge

  • Bet size depends on hand

  • Players can bluff

  • No progressive jackpot

Caribbean Stud Poker

  • Played against the dealer

  • Outcome based on chance

  • Has a house edge (about 5%)

  • Bet sizes pre-determined

  • No bluffing

  • Has a progressive jackpot

How to Play Caribbean Stud Poker

1. Each player places an initial bet called an ante

2. The dealer deals the cards

They deal five cards face down to each player and five cards to themselves, leaving one face up.

3. Players check their cards and decide if they want to play or fold

They make this decision based on their five cards and the dealer’s card that they can see.


If you ‘fold’, you lose your ante and withdraw from the round. If you ‘play’, you place an extra bet called a raise that is two times the ante. For instance, if the ante was $1 your raise would be $2.

4. The Dealer checks their cards and pays out any winners

Players win if they have a better hand than the dealer as per the poker hand ranking system.

In the event of a tie, bets are pushed.


If you beat the dealer, the size of your win depends on a couple of factors. First, we need to work out if the dealer has qualified or not.


The dealer qualifies if they have a hand better than Ace-King.

If the dealer has not qualified, the player gets paid on the ante but their raise bets are returned without profit.

If the dealer has qualified, the player gets paid 1 to 1 on both their ante ­and raise.

The player wins more if they have one of the following hands:

Hand Payout

Royal Flush

100 to 1

Straight Flush

50 to 1

Four of a Kind

20 to 1

Full House

7 to 1


5 to 1


4 to 1

Three of a Kind

3 to 1

Two Pair

2 to 1

Remember: Even if the player has one of these hands, they must beat the dealer and the dealer must qualify for them to win.

The Progressive Jackpot

On top of the above, most casinos offer players the chance to bet on the progressive jackpot.

The bet is usually just $1 and is separate to the hand you are playing with the dealer. It allows you the chance to win a sizable sum — normally at least $50,000 — if you get one of the following hands. Rules vary between casinos, but normally players win:

  • 100% of the jackpot if they have a Royal Flush
  • 10% of the jackpot if they have a Straight Flush

Some casinos may offer payouts for other hands.

It’s best to avoid the jackpots, as the house edge on these bets is a whopping 16.5%.

Caribbean Stud Poker Strategy

The player has one decision to make in Caribbean Stud Poker:


“Based on my hand, should I play or fold?”

Your answer depends on your hand:

  • If your is hand is a pair or better, play
  • If your hand is worse than Ace-King, fold

This strategy works for all hands accept Ace-King. If your hand is Ace-King and:

Situation Decision

The dealer’s card is any card between a 2 and a Queen and you have a card of the same rank or better


The dealer’s card is an Ace or a King

Only play if you have a Queen or a Jack in your hand

You have a Queen and the dealer’s card is worse than your fourth highest card


If you follow this strategy, chances are you will not lose by more than the house edge.

Play Caribbean Stud Poker for Free

Although it’s a simple game, it’s always worth trying a game before you play for real. You can practice for free at the following online casinos.

Playing for Free vs. Playing for Money

Playing for free and playing for cash each has its characteristics and advantages. The list below will help you to decide whether you want to play for cash or just for fun.

Free Play Caribbean Stud

  • Wagering not required

  • Practice strategies techniques in relaxed environment

  • Try different versions of the game before playing for real

Real Money Caribbean Stud

  • Chance to win real money

  • Use bonuses and promotions

  • More exciting environment as money is on the line

Deposit & Withdrawal Options for Playing

The best online casinos offer players a host of payment options, ranging from the traditional to the modern.

Here’s a selection of some of the payment methods you should find at an online casino near you.

Credit Cards


More Online Poker Games

Three-Card Stud

Like in Caribbean Stud, players play against the dealer. The player wins if their hands beats the dealer’s as per the poker hand hierarchy.

Video Poker

Players receive 5 cards and can twist each of them once, if they so choose. To win, the player must end up with a hand better than a pre-definied minimum in the poker hand hierarchy.

Live Poker

Live poker is poker played against a live dealer. The dealer appears on video and the players interact via an interface. If you’re looking for an experience close to the brick-and-mortar feel, this could be for you.

Pai Gow

Pai Gow’s history hails from a domino game in China. Players receive seven cards, and with them they must create two hands — one of five cards and another of two — that beat the dealer’s corresponding hands.


  • There are two hands in Caribbean Stud Poker that are the best. First, the player gets a royal flush, which has a payout of 100:1. Second, the dealer’s hand needs to qualify, meaning its Ace-King or better. If the dealer’s hand does not quality, the player will not be paid out on their royal flush.

  • US gambling laws are decided at the state level. Because of this, you will need to check what the gambling laws are in your state to know if you can wager or not. Check out our state-by-state guides to know what’s considered legal online gambling in the US.

  • You can. All of the best online casinos optimize their sites and games for mobile. Make sure you have a secure internet connection before playing.

  • Yes. A lot of online casino bonuses can be used on table games, such as Caribbean Stud. Make sure to read the bonus’ T&Cs before signing up.

  • Yes. Not only can you use crypto to play Caribbean poker online, some casinos prefer you to. At Bovada, you can enjoy a special $3,750 welcome bonus on your first three deposits if you deposit in Bitcoin.